I have an irrational fear of flying. I would rather drive for two days than take a flight somewhere. However, as I type this, I’m above 10,000 feet, somewhere over Georgia. Because as much as I hate to be this high in the air, it is the quickest way to get to New York, where part of my heart lives. (The other part remains in Mississippi, within driving distance, thank goodness.) So here I sit in seat 24A, having prayed for safe travels, awaiting the flight attendant’s cart, hoping Delta serves wine on a pre-noon flight.
Yeah, I know, “It’s the safest way to travel.” But let’s face it you’re more likely to walk away unscathed from a car accident than… well, you get the picture. Can’t think about that right now. (Where’s that cart?) The point is, if I’m going to get where I need to go by the time I need to get there, I had to get on board. I guess there is a tipping point where excitement conquers fear.
I’ll be 50 in March, and that approaching milestone combined with the recent loss of some loved ones has heightened my sense of the increasing speed and uncertainty of time. That awareness brings with it some regrets. Why do I not paint more? Why haven’t I learned to play guitar? What kept me from asking for a selfie with Bradley Cooper when I met him backstage at The Elephant Man on Broadway? Fear, I tell ya. Fear of ridicule. Rejection. Risk. It may not be the same kind of fear that keeps you from flying, but it will still keep you from ascending.
I saw Bonnie Raitt in concert a few months ago, and I am not sure how old she is, but she was a badass. (Sorry, no other word is adequate.) I can’t play guitar—yet—but I do know it is time to stop letting fear take hold when excitement should win out. I have my own gifts and talents to develop, adventures to have, love to share, and joy to spread. That’s true of all of us empty nesters whose birds have taken flights of their own.
Well, I am landing in New York now, and the cart never came. Guess I am braver than I thought.
Enjoy the ride,
P.S. I’d love to hear how any mid-lifers out there are learning new things and having new adventures! Leave me some comments!